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How to Wash Cloth Diapers

In this article, you’ll find out how to wash cloth diapers. There’s an infinity of resources out there but Fluff Love University is the place to go for everything related to cloth diapers. Check it out!

I decided to try cloth diapers for several reasons:

  • Cheaper. 
  • Eco-friendly. Check out my 10 Sustainable Household Items recommendations post.
  • Safer for my baby’s bum
  • Plus I used cloth diaper’s in the late ’80s

If my mom did it, why can’t I? Here are the most important tips for washing cloth diapers:

How to Wash Cloth Diapers: Part 1

  • Use disposable/compostable/flushable diaper liners. Put one on each diaper change above every pad. This is very helpful to avoid huge stains in the pads/shells and it is easy to pick up the solids and dispose of them right away in the toilet. Beware of traces of poop in the diaper. You have to learn to see diapers with #2 like another piece of dirt on your clothes. The diaper liner is also helpful to avoid diaper cream to touch the fabric, as this will clog the surface and the diapers will stop absorbing.
  • Use 2 large wet bags: one to store all the dirty cloth diapers in the bathroom while the other one is being washed with the dirty diapers. A regular laundry bin or diaper genie will also work.
  • Do a diaper load every 3-4 days or until you almost run out of space in the wet bag. Your washing machine should have enough diapers to friction one to another and clean themself together. 
  • Before putting everything in the washing machine, separate the pads from the shells and make sure the velcro on the straps is secure to avoid diapers sticking together. Avoid touching sections with #2 and put everything carefully inside the washing machine. Put all diaper liners with #1 (that you didn’t dispose of) aside along with the wet bag and only wash the diapers, pads and shells on your first load.
  • Add one tablespoon of washing soda (not baking soda) inside the washing machine along with your diapers. This is an extra element to boost cleanliness. 
  • In the detergent tray, add a good/strong detergent, like the regular tide. Use the minimum amount from the measuring cup, usually line 1.
  • Select the shortest cycle on your washing machine. I use a “quick” setting and warm/cold water.
  • After the cycle is completed, you’ll need to do a second washing cycle. Why is that? The first quick cycle is used to get rid of all #1 and #2 from the diapers and to prepare the fabric for a more thorough out washing.

How to Wash Cloth Diapers: Part 2

  • For the second cycle, add all the disposable diaper liners and the wet bag inside the washing machine. Make sure the wet bag is inside out to remove the bad odour or any stains. Even though the disposable liners are one use, you can wash them and re-use them! By the 3-4 time, the thin fabric will degrade and you may need to get rid of them. But hey! You saved some money there.
  • Now, add a tablespoon of borax inside the drum along with all the diapers, shells, pads, disposable liners and wet bag. Borax is an excellent deodorizer booster.
  • Add 1 tablespoon of a cloth diaper detergent inside the detergent dispenser. I use a brand called “Dirty Diaper” from Rockin’ Green. This powder is safe and cleans very well. You only need 1 single tablespoon for each load. The detergent bag will last for months!
  • Select the longest washing cycle, usually the one for heavy-duty or tough stain. Use hot water.
  • Depending on where you live, the best way to dry everything is by hanging all the items in the line with a 30 degree Celsius hot sunny day. But let’s be realistic, some of us aren’t that lucky to live in that kind of weather year-round. The sun is a great way to remove stains and kill bacteria.
  • Another option to dry your diapers is as follows: hang dry in your laundry room all the plastic shells, diaper covers and wet bag. Use your drier for the pads and disposable liners. Be careful while using your drier as some diapers may shrink and your baby will outgrow them super fast. Do not add a drying sheet as this may cause sensitivity to your baby’s bottom.


Your diapers are clean now. Some stains may remain, but it should be clean regardless. 

Remember to strip your diapers every 2 months max! Check out Fluff Love University ^ on how to strip diapers!

Does it sound like a long process? Uuhh maybe, but think of all the plastic diapers you are not sending to the landfill and the ocean. You’ll sleep better from now on.

Have fun and start washing!



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